Engineer to try again for covered bridge project

By Wayne Allen

September 27, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

On Thursday the Scioto County Commissioners passed a resolution officially rejecting the bids that came in for the Otway Covered Bridge rehabilitation project for being over projected estimates.

Two bids were received and according to Scioto County Engineer, both bids did not come close to the estimated cost of the project.

Bids were received from RC Construction of Peebles, Ohio for $491,000 and the other from The Righter Company of Columbus for $501,700.

“The bids were to high. The bids were over estimate and over our funding at the time,” said Craig Opperman, Scioto County Engineer.

When asked what’s next for the rehabilitation project, Opperman said, “We are putting together a package now, we signed an agreement with ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) yesterday. So, within a month we will likely start advertising for bids again.”

Opperman said the scope of the project has not changed, but that could change.

“Our consultant is meeting with our sub-consultant to talk about what changes they may or may not want to make to the plans. Then they plan to get back with us,” Opperman said.

He said one of the issue with the nature of this project is the limited number of potential bidders is limited.

“This is also a federal job so they (potential bidders) have to have ODOT pre-qualifications. This (Otway Covered Bridge) is a Level 2 bridge, so that excludes anyone that may have bid on it as a level one covered bridge. So, that further excludes companies and it’s mainly because its a truss,” Opperman said. “That is causing us to limit our numbers even further on potential bidders.”

According to the Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail, the bridge is located southwest of the junction of state routes 73 and 348. The bridge was erected in 1874 and was in use until it was bypassed in 1963. This historic structure is listed on the National Registry and was completely restored by the village of Otway in 1974. What makes the Otway Bridge so unique is that of the 80 or so covered bridges that were built in the history of Scioto County, it is the lone survivor.

Donations can be sent to Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail, PO Box 536 Portsmouth, Ohio 45662 (Attention Covered Bridge.) For more information contact Norval Davis at 740-372-8320, Mike Seaman at 740-372-8888, or Jake Orlett at 740-259-5747, or visit the groups Facebook pages “Otway Historical Society and Otway Covered Bridge.”

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.